Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat
|Understanding the Violence in Bangalore|| |
| Understanding the Violence in Bangalore|
Lot of people are shocked out of their wits about the violence that has marred
Bangalore in the aftermath of the death of a popular movie star, Raj Kumar.
I am sad at the violence and disruption. But I am not surprised or shocked.
That was to be expected. Raj Kumar was God to his fans.
I list below the my notes on such violence in India.
- Raj Kumar was a cult figure (just like MGR, Indira Gandhi, and Mahatma
Gandhi) and people worshipped him. Some people go the extent of immolating
themselves in grief. It is perhaps due to the emotional immaturity of present day Indian civilization, but their loss has to be understood.
- There is violence in India every time a great leader dies, because people
who don't grieve enough are punished by those grieving. They think that
someone not grieving enough is being disrespectful. So going to work or go
shopping as if Raj Kumar has not died is simply unacceptable to some segment
of the society.
- Crowd violence is bound to happen when a million people show up to pay
their last respects and are not given a chance. When people can't go to
Bangalore to attend the funeral, they get upset and burn the buses. When police try to restrict the crowds, the crowds get angry and stone the police. It is fundamentally a crowd management problem, except that in this case the
crowds are very upset.
- We have a saying in India "Gummulu Govinda" -- it is OK
to misbehave in a crowd because you are not going to be singled out for punishment.
Nobody is going to know who is responsible for the riots. We have seen this
everywhere; in Los Angeles, in New Orleans, as Indira Gandhi would say
"It is a global phenomenon"!
- The Raj Kumar's fans have a especially violent history. Once a
movie critic wrote a bad review of one of his movies and the fans kidnapped
the journalist and roughed him up. They regularly burn Tamil homes and
movie-houses. They take to violence to share river-water, to teach Kannada
or to balance the injustice meted out somewhere else. They probably are angry at me because I have not referred to him as Dr. Rajkumar (an honorary doctorate that the fans thought was so cool, they made it his first name)
I am not shocked, but I concur with Anita Bora that Raj Kumar did deserve a dignified funeral.
Talking about Bangalore, there is an important junction in Bangalore called "N.S. Hardikar Circle" named after a great man. But nobody seems to know about him. Today I am very proud to publish a biography of Narayan Subbarao Hardikar, a magnetic leader who served India so well.
Also, the plush Sadashivnagar neighborhood where Raj Kumar lived is named after this humble man.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, April 14, 2006|
Last Modified: 5/4/2006 4:35:49 PM
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